I Have Low Sexual Desire. What’s Wrong with Me?


7 Things That Kill Libido and What Can Bring it Back to Life

Can you relate?  If so, you are not alone. At least one third of the women in the United States struggle with low sexual desire.  Here are 6 things that may be wreaking havoc on your libido and a few suggestions of what you can do to bring it back to life:

1. Too Exhausted For Sex?

  • Many low-drive women have a certain personality type.   Words that describe this personality type are:  conscientious, organized, overscheduled, perfectionistic, service-oriented, and self-sacrificing.  These women have high expectations of themselves and everything they do, they do well.  They are too busy and exhausted to feel sexual desire.  
  • For them sex is a chore, just another thing to mark off their to-do list. Does this describe you?  If so, something has got to change.  You can’t keep going full throttle in robot mode. You’ve got to make some room in your life for you. It’s hard to feel sexual desire, when you don’t have time to feel. 

2. Your (personal) Feelings and Past Can Be to Blame

  • If you are a woman with low sexual desire you probably have some negative associations with sex. What messages did you receive about sex growing up? Do you have guilt or shame about your sexuality?  Did your parents have a healthy sex life? What were your first experiences with sex – did you feel loved and cared about, or did you feel used? Were you sexually abused or raped?  Do you feel shame about your body?  
  • Attend to your feelings about sex. Get in touch with what is at the root of your sexual aversion.  Negative associations don’t just go away on their own. You need to become aware of the meaning you attach to sex, change what needs to be changed, and challenge any inaccurate beliefs you have about sex. You may need to work with a sex therapist who can help you challenge your negative associations and help you heal from painful sexual experiences.   

3. Can Birth Control Be Ruining Your Sex Life?

  • Synthetic progesterone, called Provera, is a major ingredient in many of the birth control products currently out on the market and it can devastate sex drive. It is such a powerful sex drive killer that it has been used to chemically castrate perpetrators of violent sexual crimes by stopping testosterone flow and consequently depressing their sex drive.   
  • The birth control pill inhibits the production of androgens, including testosterone, in the ovaries. Testosterone is fundamental to sexual desire.  
  • There is also evidence that the birth control pill can increase the amount of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) in a woman’s body. SHBG is a protein that binds up testosterone so that it is unavailable to be used effectively.  High levels of SHBG have been directly linked to decreased sexual desire.

Talk to your prescriber about other options for birth control that won’t thwart your sex drive.   

4. Hormones, Well, because... HORMONES 

  • Ask your doctor to test your hormone levels to see if you have a hormone imbalance. Your estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, DHEA, and cortisol levels are especially important.  It is crucial that your hormones are not only in balance, but in the optimal range, in order to have vibrant sexual drive.  

5. "Sex Without Pain, is Like Food Without Taste"... I Don't Think So!

Sex should not be painful. Tolerating painful sex will definitely damage your sexual desire.  

  • There are several reasons sex could be painful for you. One of the most common is not being fully aroused before you are penetrated.  If you aren’t fully aroused your vagina will not be open enough to accommodate a penis and will not produce the lubrication that makes intercourse pleasurable instead of painful. It takes women a lot longer than men to get aroused.  Some women need 20 to 60 minutes of foreplay before being fully sexually aroused.   
  • If you are fully aroused before you have intercourse and you still experience pain, consult a medical doctor who specializes in sexual medicine. 

To find a sexual medicine doctor in your area contact the Sexual Medicine Society of North America (www.smsna.org). 

6. Are Those Meds Really Worth Your Low Sex Drive?

What medications are you taking?  Some medications will take your libido down. Antidepressant SSRI meds will definitely reduce your sexual desire and arousal. Other medications that squelch your sexuality are: 

  • Anti-anxiety medications (example: Xanax),  
  • Beta-blockers (example: Timolol) 
  • Antihistamines (example: Benadryl 
  • Anti-seizure medications (example: Tegretol) 
  • Opioid pain killers (example: Percocet) 
  • Baldness medication (example: Propecia) 
  • 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors (example: Proscar)

Talk to your doctor about other alternative medications that won’t damage sex drive. For instance, 5HTP is an over the counter supplement that reduces depression without killing sex drive.  

7. You and Your Partner Are To Blame.. SORRY! 

  • If you and your partner have long-standing, unresolved relationship issues that you can’t talk about, it will create a block in your libido. 
  • If you don’t trust your partner because he has cheated on you, or betrayed you in some other way, I promise you this will reduce your sexual desire.
  • If you don’t respect your partner, you’ll have a hard time wanting sex with him. 
  • If your partner has poor hygiene, you’ll dread sex.  

Address and resolve your relationship problems.  When you do, there is a good chance you will feel better about your partner and about having sex with him.  

In this article I’ve touched on only a few of the reasons for low sexual desire. I specialize in helping women increase their sexual desire. To learn more about what may be impacting your sexual desire and how you can increase your libido, contact me at colettemalan_lcsw@hotmail.com or call me at 801-334-7217.  You can visit my website at www.relationshiphealth.org  or follow me on Facebook.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to talk to you.